thai-style diet

Simplest Thai green chicken curry noodles

I had this today for a quick brunch ... needed something super-soothing (and spicy) after a very un-relaxing start to the weekend with eyebrow threading, followed by a bikini wax. Ouch!

Plus I had just over half a tin of coconut milk in the fridge from the night before when I'd made my new favourite Thai-inspired salmon and new potato tray bake.

(OK I KNOW you're not supposed to keep opened tins in the fridge, but it was just overnight, k?)

Anyway, on to brunch.



Not terribly authentic as I didn't have any Thai basil or pea aubergines, but hey ho, it's close enough and it tastes great!

Here's what you need for one big bowl of yummy green curry noodles:

1 layer of dried rice noodles, prepared according to packet instructions

cooking oil (I use a spray oil plus a splash of water)

a good Thai green curry paste - THIS is the one I use

1/2 - 1 chicken breast (depending on size and hunger), cut into bite-sized pieces

about 200ml (around half a tin) coconut milk

some vegetables - I had a few bits of broccoli, a few green beans, a couple of mange tout and some yellow pepper

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

Thai basil to serve would be best; coriander would be nice; I had a few slices of spring onion and a few slices of red chilli just to make it look nice really

First, get the noodles ready, according to the instructions on the packet, so they're ready to add, and prepare all the ingredients.

Rachel Redlaw Thai green chicken curry noodles
Rachel Redlaw Thai green chicken curry noodles

Put a saucepan, big frying pan or wok over a medium heat, add a slosh of cooking oil or around 20 sprays of your cooking oil and add a walnut sized amount (a couple of teaspoons) of green curry paste and the chicken to the pan.

Stir fry until the chicken is sealed and white, adding a splash of water if needed to prevent it sticking.

Then add the coconut milk, bring to the boil and boil on a low-ish boil for 5 minutes.

Throw in the vegetables and cook for another 2 minutes or so.

Add in the fish sauce and sugar, stir, then add the noodles and cook for another minute.

Rachel Redlaw Thai green chicken curry noodles
Rachel Redlaw Thai green chicken curry noodles
Rachel Redlaw Thai green chicken curry noodles
Rachel Redlaw Thai green chicken curry noodles

If you have Thai basil, add it now, remove from heat and stir to wilt in.

Otherwise, just tip it into a big bowl, add any garnishes you like and enjoy!


'Weeping tiger' steak

The ONLY hard part about this lovely easy dish is finding fresh green peppercorns - I get them from my local Thai supermarket but I haven't seen them in the usual supermarkets.

This is a shame and a reason I haven't posted this recipe before because I really try to ensure you don't need any specialist ingredients to make my recipes.

This one, I'm afraid you do ... HOWEVER, they do seem to be pretty much readily available to buy online (at least here in the UK).

Although, to be honest, if you can't get them - then just make it without them! Yes it's going to have a bit of a different flavour, but I've made it a few times and it's still a good dish in its own right.

I made this just with one steak, for myself, for lunch.

I've made it before though using an incredible piece of beef fillet for a friend's party - with pro-rata'd up marinade of course.

Don't worry too much about the exact quantities of ingredients - to be honest it all tastes good!

But what I did today, for my lunch was to take (in addition to a steak - your choice of cut and size):

1 clove garlic, squashed with the flat of a knife

Some of the stalks chopped off near the bottom of a bunch of coriander, plus a few coriander leaves (plus another handful to garnish before serving)

A couple of sprigs - maybe 2 teaspoons-worth - of fresh green peppercorns

2 teaspoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons light soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

Oh, and I made a sauce to spoon over the cooked steak too and THAT was simply made with:

The juice of one lime

1 teaspoon sugar (or 1/2 teaspoon sugar + 1 teaspoon sweet chilli sauce)

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

So first, put the garlic clove plus the chopped coriander stalks and a few leaves into a mortar and pound to a sort of paste/gloop with the pestle.

Stir in the peppercorns, fish sauce and soy sauce and then keep stirring in the sugar so it dissolves.

Rub the mixture over the steak and leave to marinade for half an hour or so.

Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak
Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak
Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak
Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak

Make the sauce by combining the lime juice, sugar, fish sauce and chilli flakes and stir to dissolve the sugar. If I'd had some sweet chilli sauce (must make some!) I'd have added a teaspoon of that too but only used 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.

Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak

If you're going to have it with rice, make the rice now so it's ready to go.

I wanted a lighter lunch so just prepped some vegetables which I quickly stir-fried after the steak and cooked and while it was resting.

When the steak's finished marinating cook it to your liking on a grill or griddle then rest it for a few minutes. I scooped up all the green peppercorns that had fallen down into the dips in the griddle and added to the steak (of course!).

Slice and serve with rice or vegetables and spoon over some of the sauce.

Sprinkle some coriander leaves over it all to garnish.

Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak
Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak


Easy gluten-free eating with a Thai-style diet

I'm all about keeping things simple.  And for those eating gluten-free, I imagine it can anything but simple thinking about ingredients, checking ingredients lists and introducing variety to the repertoire of meals you know you can safely eat.

Gluten is the protein found in wheat and some other grains and therefore means people eating gluten-free need to avoid pasta, egg noodles and anything made with wheat flour so most breads, pizza bases, cakes, pancakes and much more.  

Wheat flour is also a regular thickening agent added to many pre-prepared or part-prepared meals, to sausages, salami and processed meats, sauces, soups, dressings and all sorts of unexpected foods. 

It struck me recently that eating a Thai-style diet can be pretty much naturally gluten-free and therefore a simple way to find lots of gluten-free ideas.

Gin khao, in Thai, doesn't just refer - literally - to 'eating rice', but to eating anything at any time.  Any meal, any time you ask someone if they want to eat, you're saying 'rice'. I love that showing of the importance of rice in the diet through language itself.

Thai, and other cuisines that are based on rice rather than wheat, is an ideal way to eat if you can't eat gluten.

You'll need to avoid just two main items:

1. Wheat or egg noodles However, these are much less common in Thai cooking than the more usual rice noodles - and rice noodles are gluten-free.

2. Soy sauce  Gluten-free soy sauce is readily available in supermarkets, so this isn't a problem for cooking at home. Wherever you see 'soy sauce' in a recipe, please just use gluten-free soy sauce in its place.

If you're eating out, or getting a takeaway, it's probably best to avoid dishes with soy sauce - but that still leaves a huge choice, including curries, soups or a classic Pad Thai.

Oyster sauce usually has wheat and although there are gluten-free brands readily available online that sounds a little more difficult to me than just going to the supermarket, so - for now at least - I won't include recipes that use oyster sauce in my gluten-free recipe category. Oyster sauce is a Chinese condiment anyway so, whilst I love it, it's not necessary for the majority of Thai dishes. 

And while Chinese spring rolls are made with wheat flour wrappers, Thai and Vietnamese spring rolls are usually made with rice wrappers. What's especially nice about a Thai-style way of eating if you need to eat gluten-free is that it is usually naturally this way, so instead of having to think of substitutes can generally just eat the food the way it's meant to be.

Rice and tapioca flours are often used in Thai cooking for thickening, instead of our usual wheat flour.  I'm going to be experimenting with using rice flour for some pancakes soon - will post the recipe as soon as it's done.

Thai food is also full of flavour and quick to cook most dishes.  

You don't need a cupboard full of exotic ingredients. I've pulled together the key 9 items I keep in stock that are the basis of many, many recipes so just pop your email in the box below and I'll send it to you.

(Sorry - it does include oyster sauce just because I like it, but there are plenty of recipes that don't include it!).


I hope you're inspired to try a few (GLUTEN-FREE) Thai dishes - would love to know what you think.

Please note: I am not a medical professional nor a qualified nutritionist.  However, I have been cooking regularly since I was 12 and have researched nutrition, health and food over the years because it's something I enjoy.  Since living for a while in Thailand over a decade ago I have eaten a predominantly Thai-style diet and have over 10 years of personal knowledge and understanding of the health benefits of eating this way.

Please do research my recommendations and check my recipes and ingredients carefully before cooking to make sure they're right for you.  Consult your doctor first if you need to check your individual condition and circumstances before making any changes to your diet.

Please also note: The recipes I have listed as gluten free assume that you'll use gluten-free soy sauce and gluten-free stock cubes as the recipes aren't specific. 

Rachel Redlaw 9 items you need